How to navigate Leicester Square Christmas Market: Your Guide

A side angle of Leicester Square Christmas market stall.

A side angle of Leicester Square Christmas market stall.

How to make the most of the Leicester Square Christmas Market

Leicester Square Christmas Market is a festive extravaganza nestled in the heart of London, renowned for its enchanting holiday ambiance and diverse offerings. The market transforms the iconic Leicester Square into a winter wonderland, adorned with twinkling lights, festive decorations, and a bustling atmosphere. Visitors can explore a myriad of stalls featuring handcrafted goods, unique gifts, and seasonal treats. The market caters to all ages, offering family-friendly activities, live entertainment, and an array of culinary delights to savor. With its central location and vibrant festive spirit, Leicester Square Christmas Market has become a beloved destination for locals and tourists alike, providing a magical experience that captures the essence of the holiday season in the heart of the city.

Aerial view of Leicester Square Christmas Market at night with red roofs and festive lights

How to get there

Navigating to Leicester Square Christmas Market is convenient with several transportation options. You can reach the market by taking the Bakerloo Line, Piccadilly Line, or the Northern Line and alighting at key stations such as Piccadilly Circus, Charing Cross Station, or directly at Leicester Square. These well-connected subway lines provide easy access, ensuring a hassle-free journey to the heart of the festive celebrations. Whether arriving via the Bakerloo Line, Piccadilly Line, or the Northern Line, and disembarking at Piccadilly Circus, Charing Cross Station, or Leicester Square, you’ll find yourself just steps away from the joyous atmosphere of Leicester Square Christmas Market.

Insider’s Tips

It strongly encouraged that you limit your time at the Leicester Square Christmas Market to two hours, as it is a crowded market located in the square. Spending too much on Christmas gifts should be avoided if you’re on a tight budget because some vendors charge a premium for their ethically and handcrafted goods. A few of the stalls have affordable prices. Anything between £10 and £20 is regarded as reasonably priced, and anything beyond £30 is usually considered costly.

Le Clique is an adult pop-up circus show that’s worth checking out even though it costs money. Below is further information on that. You can sample Burger King, McDonald’s, KFC, and mid-range eateries like Bella Italian, TGI Fridays, and China Town if you fancy a bit of Oriental cuisine.

Bring around £20 cash per person as a single hamburger can cost £8.50 and if you want to buy a souvenir, a typical average price for a budget traveller is £10 upwards. Most vendors accept cards, but just in case they don’t, carry cash on you.

Leicester Square Christmas stall glowing with golden lights and festive decorations at night.

History of Leicester Square Christmas Market

Since the Middle Ages and the Victorian era, there have been Christmas markets offering crafts, seasonal cuisines, and festive gifts. It is possible that during these times, London shared its marketplaces. As London gained popularity among its European rivals by the 20th century, a number of markets that provided a blend of traditional and modern festive experiences began to spring up all around the city. With the exception of Leicester Square Christmas Market, the South Bank Centre Winter Market debuted in the middle of the 2000s and has grown to be a well-liked yearly occasion with seasonal vendors, food, and entertainment. The first date of the Leicester Square Christmas Market’s opening is unknown, but it might have been added more recently. Although it isn’t known when Leicester Square Christmas Market opened its doors for the firs time, it may have been introduced in more recent years.

Leicester Square Christmas Market Opening Times

The exact location of Leicester Square is Leicester Square itself and the dates of operation may vary each year from early November to the end of December. Usually, the market opens from 11am – 7pm. Check back on their website nearer the time. 

Attractions and Features

Christmas Lights and Decorations

The oak trees encircling the square are adorned with long strands of shimmering lights and large starlights. The area is made even brighter by the lightbulbs that decorate the stall roofs, which project darker light tones onto the outside. While there is more room for people to move around the square’s exterior, there is still plenty of people pushing past each other in the bustling market.

Christmas Market Stalls

Check out the Christmas Market stalls by purchasing handcrafted items for your Christmas décor—from knitted hats and scarves to wooden ornaments fashioned like snowmen, Christmas trees, and many other shapes—you will be supporting small companies. As for Leicester Square Christmas Market has a range of food options. A pop-up bar serving mulled wine, craft beer, and other winter warmers, as well as vendors providing Czech food, hot dogs, burgers, fries, and sugar floss are among the culinary offerings. Another attraction is a chocolate fountain where you may submerge your marshmallow sticks. These crafts and presents are undoubtedly one-of-a-kind for that special someone. Aside from carnival games like Tin Can Alley, where you hit the stacked tins to win a massive plush toy, they are undoubtedly unique presents and crafts for your loved ones. Sadly, Leicester Square does not have any ice rinks or places to enjoy winter sports; for those things, you may need to travel to Hampton Court, Queen’s House, Canary Wharf, or Hyde Park Winter Wonderland.

Entertainment

La Clique, an adult pop-up cabaret acrobatic act, is a live entertainment option. They tour the world showcasing their skills, performing jazz music with piano and drums, fire, and pole dancing. It’s a show not to be missed, even though it’s not free. The kids can see Santa in his grotto, where he will pose for pictures and give each youngster a modest gift. Without Santa, Christmas won’t be the same

Typically, street performers would entertain people as you leave the market by doing their thing outside the square. It truly depends on personal preferences since while some street performers might be funny, others can also be corny. Street dancers, puppeteers, buskers, and many more can be seen, and depending on the entertainment, the atmosphere is typically noisy. During the day, you can ask artists outside the M&Ms store to design a cartoon representation of yourself or one of the celebrities you love. Make your way to Chinatown, which connects to Leicester Square for a bite to eat.

Tips for Visitors

When the lights and glow come out in the evening, it’s the ideal time to visit. Even though there are more people in Leicester Square at night than during the day, there are still large numbers of people there during the day thanks to the market’s lights. Throughout the year, Leicester Square is full of activity, and especially around Christmas. For those who are uncomfortable with large groups, it may seem cramped, but what draws them in is the excitement and celebration. The best part of Leicester Square aside from La Clique is it’s free of charge. 

Budget hotels such as Hotel Indigo London and Premier Inn Leicester Square Hotel are situated next to Leicester Square. For an upscale hotel, check out Raddison Blue Edwardian Hampshire Hotel. For an upscale restaurant, you can check out Leicester Square Kitchen for a Mexican, Peruvian, Healthy, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options. 

Conclusion

As the curtains draw on another enchanting season, Leicester Square Christmas Market leaves behind a tapestry of festive delights that have captivated hearts and ignited the spirit of joy. Let’s take a moment to unwrap the key highlights that have defined this magical celebration:

From the Bavarian-themed stalls that transported us to the heart of Europe to the charming market encircling the square, every corner radiated the warmth of the season. The stalls, adorned with handcrafted Christmas items, provided a unique shopping experience, where each purchase felt like a piece of holiday magic.

Sipping on the aromatic mulled wine, navigating the labyrinth of stalls, and discovering treasures at every turn, Leicester Square Christmas Market revealed itself as a haven for those seeking the true essence of the season.

The jovial laughter echoing from Santa’s grotto became the soundtrack of the festivities, creating memories for the little ones and the young at heart alike. Meanwhile, the allure of La Clique dazzled audiences, blending acrobatics, cabaret, and adult-oriented entertainment into a show that will linger in our memories.

For those with a sweet tooth, the chocolate fountain beckoned, offering a decadent experience that added a touch of indulgence to the holiday merriment.

As the day winds down, accommodations in the vicinity cater to every preference. Budget-friendly options like Premier Inn and upscale establishments such as Radisson Blu ensure that every visitor finds a home away from home in the heart of London’s festivities.

So, as we bid adieu to this year’s festivities, make a note on your calendar and promise yourself this: Next year, be sure to visit Leicester Square Christmas Market. Let the Bavarian stalls, the handcrafted wonders, the mulled wine, and the joyous atmosphere beckon you once more. Until then, may the magic of Leicester Square linger in your heart, and may your next holiday season be as unforgettable as the one we’ve shared together.

Check out South Bank Christmas Market and Winter Wonderland Hyde Park for more options on Christmas Markets in London.

Check out their website here for up-to-date information on Leicester Square Christmas Market.

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